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The Month of Adar: The Holiday of Purim
Adar is the 12th month on the Jewish calendar counting from Nisan.
The Hebrew name “Adar” is related to the word “adir,” which denotes strength and power.
Tradition relates that Moses passed away and was born on 7 Adar.
The Talmud says. “When Adar enters, joy increases.” This reaches its climax on the 14th of the month, as we celebrate the holiday of Purim, the day when Mordechai and Esther triumphed over the wicked Haman. Purim means "lots." Like a lottery, which is not rational or predictable, Purim expresses that which is above nature and human understanding.
The spirit of Purim permeates the entire month, making it a time of unparalleled rejoicing and good mazal (fortune) for the Jewish people.
We observe Purim by reading the Megillah (book of Esther), which recounts the story of the Purim miracle. This is done once on the eve of Purim and then again on the following day.
We give gifts of money to at least two poor people and gifts of two kinds of food to at least one person.
A traditional Purim food is hamantaschen, three-cornered pastries bursting with poppy seeds or another sweet filling. Although there is no obligation to eat hamantaschen on Purim, many enjoy fulfilling this custom.
A festive Purim feast, which often includes wine or other intoxicating beverages, is included in the day.
JNF-USA’s families and friends gather around the tables for the festive meal. It’s actually a mitzvah to eat. Judaism is cool like that… The celebration resembles a traditional Jewish meal, but with a number of unique characteristics: Purim celebrates a miracle in which G‑d’s presence was hidden, so people often “hide” behind costumes. Both adults and kids can dress up. We are going to have a bit (or more than a bit) to drink, and otherwise act in ways you’d never see us act during the rest of the year.
When we meet each other on the joyous holiday of Purim, we greet each other with wishes of “happy Purim.”
In Israel, we say “chag Purim sameach” (חג פורים שמח and pronounce it KHAG poo-REEM sah-MAY-akh).